Our knowledge of what the Star Wars sequel trilogy is going to look like is basically nil. It might involve Tatooine, but that’s not confirmed. Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher might be back, but we don’t know if the contracts have been signed. We could be getting “a young black or mixed-race woman who may be a descendent of Jedi Knight Ben Kenobi“… or maybe not. In the absence of any concrete information about the story of Episodes VII-IX, fans have been speculating about what might not be included, ie whether Disney will airlock the rich Expanded Universe canon that’s been established over decades of books, comics, video games, and other tie-in materials. Thrawn! The Jedi Academy! Mara Jade!
Unfortunately—or not, your mileage may vary—it’s looking like the answer to that question is “Yes.”
Simon Kinberg, who’s writing one of the non-sequel-trilogy Star Wars spinoffs, was asked by IGN at WonderCon whether Expanded Universe content is off-limits in the new Disney regime. Here’s what he had to say (emphasis mine):
”You know, it’s not off-limits, and it’s certainly inspiring — I’m working on an animated show for [Lucasfilm] as well, Star Wars: Rebels, that will take inspiration from everywhere, but — I know for the movies, the canon is the canon, and the canon is the six films that exist.”
That sounds pretty cut-and-dried. Granted, Kinberg is only one writer, and is probably not privy to all the various machinations of the top Disney and Lucasfilm brass. But still, I’d recommend not being hopeful on this front, since Disney/Lucasfilm isn’t very likely—and never has been very likely, I’d say—to pull from the Expanded Universe.
There are characters and plots that are much beloved by fans (and some that aren’t—a moon landing on Chewbacca), but those fans are probably going to see the new movies whether or not, say, Mara Jade is there. The presence of fan favorites from the EU might crank our excitement up a notch or two, but the money we shell out on an opening weekend ticket will be the same either way. There’s no practical reason for Disney to include elements from the Expanded Universe. It would limit their writers, who are presumably (hopefully) capable of coming up with their own interesting characters. Lawrence Kasdan previously said he’s “start[ing] fresh” for his Star Wars spinoff, and now Kinberg’s seemingly been quite careful not to imply that fans should expect the EU to put in an appearance.
I guess Karen Gillan‘s hair won’t be a Mara Jade wig after all.
(via: The Hollywood Reporter)